band leaders

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by chunkylover73, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    Just curious, how many of you guys would consider yourself to be the band leader? If you are, how did you get in that position? What kind of role do you play as the band leader? Do you compensate yourself accordingly for any additional tasks associated with the position? Thanks!
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I have been in the past but I'm happy to be "just the bassist" these days. In the past I handled all the booking, negotiating fees, promotion, website, what songs we were going to do, scheduled practices, etc. I got the job because no one else really wanted to do it. Now I'd rather just focus in the music. I'll help out here and there but back doing more of what I love and less of what I hate.
  3. I have been the BL. It is what I did to keep the ball rolling. My functions as BL included owning the PA, organizing, practices, getting the gigs, doing the advertising, marketing, handling the money, etc. No extra compensation was involved. The drummer wanted to become the BL, so we worked it out, and I insisted he get a little extra cut.
    I have worked for an excellent example of a spectacular BL, and he justifiably received an extra chunk of ching. He was a major league business oriented individual (marketing, finance, organizational, etc.).
    I have worked for lesser grade BL’s, some undeservedly received additional compensation, and some did not.
  4. Bassorama57

    Bassorama57 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    Fredericksburg, VA
    - By default: In one instance, the guy who started the band had a nervous breakdown and I stepped in because I liked the band; in another case, the guy just didn't have any leadership or organizational skills, so I simply started issuing instructions, talking to venues, and telling everyone else about it later. I'd rather just play, personally. Interesting, as I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning - has anyone ever put out (I'm talking a cheap paperback) a "guide on how to be a bandleader?" that would have some of these lessons learned in it?
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  6. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    I've been a bandleader since I started my first band at 12 years old. I own the PA, book the gigs, negotiate payment, pay the band, send out the 1099s, pick the songs, rehearse the singers, write the arrangements, (yes, you have to read music to be in my band) and arrange transportation to the gigs.

    I pay the band what it takes to keep them and keep the rest.
  7. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    In your most recent band, were you the band leader by default, or did the band come to a consensus that you would be the leader? Or was it because you just had the skill set necessary to lead the band?
  8. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    So when you were the band leader, were you being compensated for your extra work, or did you do it because no one else was able/interested?
  9. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    I think it would be a great resource. I take care of the technical side of things with my band (PA, recording, website) but leave the other stuff like bookings to the other guys. They do what they can, but there's a definite lack of leadership that has prevented us from reaching our full potential.
  10. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    That's very entrepreneurial, do you play for a living?
  11. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    In my main band, I'm just a long-term sideman.
    Play the shows, take my pittance and go home.
    I don't run the PA, but do have to troubleshoot it when things go awry.

    In 'my' band, I'm the BL and MD, sound guy and front man.
    the other guys do some booking, and handle the web work.
    Worked out well for us.
    No extra compensation,
    although sometimes the guys kick in a little for transport costs for the PA I haul.

    In another I'm the ad-hoc MD, the actual BL takes care of most everything else.
    He doesn't ask for compensation, either.
  12. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    After leaving my last band I started a new experimental project with my guitarist. Just the two of us playing all instruments. Since he somehow wants someone else to be the "musical director", and the whole thing is basically my brainchild and he joined in on the fun, I am the de facto band leader. Apparently I am doing a good job because he said he'd never enjoyed a band more than this one. Right now we're mainly turning short stories into music, musically we're somewhere between doom/stoner and jazz. A unique blend that hasn't been explored all that much.
  13. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I've explained this before. We are democratic in the sense that the drummer gets 2 votes, I get 1 vote, the singer gets half a vote and the guitarist gets negetive 1 vote.
  14. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Pretty accurate.
  15. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    And seeing as how you and I agree on most things band related that makes predicting the outcome fairly easy.
  16. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out.... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    I have never been in a band that had a "leader" thank god. Every band I have ever been in was mostly a "communistic" type situation. Everybody brought abilities to he table, and they were utilized equally.

    In our current situation, I am the "grunt" type. I am good at and enjoy packing, loading, organizing...all of the logistical stuff. I am the guy who does not mind loading in at 4:30 in the morning. I am the driver since I don't drink or do drugs, and I love to drive. Musically, I don't have to do to much writing since our guitarist is the riff-miester...I do more of he arranging. In the group, I have the most musical knowledge, so many times I am fixing things of that nature, and it works fine. That is another "job" that I fell into.

    Our guitarist and singer are social gurus, and I am not, so they do all of the booking/pressing flesh at gigs while I brood in the darkest, furthest corner of the bar (like most bass players I am told...). I am not outwardly social by any stretch of the imagination, so they take on that role and are fine with it.

    There is not one entity who runs the program, and we all like it that way...cuts down on the drama. Any money we make goes into a communal band fund that pays for studio time, gas, hotels, food etc when we are playing so there is no fighting over who gets how much. This prevents us (for the most part) of having to spend personal funds on band related things)

    I feel like having a "band leader" is one of the first sources of drama...
  17. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    No. It's always been a hobby.
  18. By default from 1992 to 2000. Most thankless job I ever had.
  19. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    It sounds like you have an ideal situation going on, where everyone has a unique skill set and is contributing equally. I think most of us would like to be in that situation. I'm not sure what you mean when you say having a band leader is a source of drama. If you mean the leader is acting like a dictator, then yes, that is obviously problematic. Couldn't a skillful band leader, though, be a major asset to a band?
  20. chunkylover73


    Feb 1, 2009
    What happened in 2000? Did you leave the band?
  21. Our very talented lead guitarist, who was also my cousin, got hooked on pain pills. Everything went downhill from there as he could not remember his parts. He passed in 2003 from an overdose. RIP Scott.